The Utah Jazz have their backs to the wall. Have you ever heard that one before? And we are not talking about John Wall, either. These guys from the Golden State Warriors are, in their own way, potentially more dangerous. And they shook off some rust, it appears, to do some damage in Thursday night’s game, which put Golden State up by two games in this series, which now moves to the Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City on Saturday night. Game time is 8:30 PM ET, and BetAnySports customers will have a chance to place their action on the contest even while it is in progress, using the state-of-the-art software available through Live Betting Ultra.
You can’t say that the Jazz have vastly underachieved – after all, they have covered each of the first two games thus far, albeit just barely. And honestly, there wasn’t a whole lot to judge this matchup on from the three meetings, since Utah was without key personnel in all of them and the Warriors were lacking motivation somewhat in the game they lost. The truth is, anyone who figured the Jazz were built to give Golden State a tough time, which has been suggested, was off base. We say that because Golden State seems to be able to get out on the break when it wants to when Utah misses a shot. And after shooting just 24% from the arc in Game 1, they hit 45% in Game 2.
In the NBA playoff odds posted on this game by the folks at BetAnySports, the Warriors are the road favorites:
Golden State Warriors -5.5
Utah Jazz +5.5
Over 208 points -110
Under 208 points -110
Ready for the big “Ouch”? Maybe that’s what we should start calling Draymond Green, who has been simply scintillating from outside the arc during the post-season, hitting 18 out of 33. That’s something opponents haven’t expected, but the threat of him shooting from the outside really comes in handy for these Warriors, because it presents the potential to get Rudy Gobert away from the basket, and thus mitigates the effectiveness of the Utah defensive setup, particularly when the Warriors go to the “lineup of death,” which is, in effect, the smaller lineup that consists of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, along with Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala and Green.
If you are a BetAnySports customer who is a potential Utah backer, you may have gotten a lot of encouragement from the work of Gordon Hayward, a guy who had been held very much in check by the Warriors over his previous five encounters with them, as he shot just 26.7% against them. Well, he was quite a bit more accurate on Thursday, converting 11 of 21 shots and getting eight of 9 from the free throw line. He really needed that. Maybe he can leave all psychological barriers behind, if indeed there were any.
The Jazz might not know until close to game time whether point guard George Hill can make it. Hill had to sit out Game 2 with a toe injury, and his absence would take something away from Utah’s effort on the offensive end, for certain, but also let’s not forget that he is a solid defender and veteran post-season performer, and Quin Snyder puts his team in a risk situation of sorts with either Raul Neto or Dante Exum out there.
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